Synopsis: Aurelia Hawkins Hurst was born September 15, 1836, in London, England, to Samuel Harris
Hawkins and Charlotte Savage -- a family of some means. They gave up
wealth and status to join the Mormon Church and move to Utah. She married
Frederick William Hurst and lived the rest of her live in Logan, Cache, Utah, where she died on March 24, 1907 at the age of 70.
Aurelia Hawkins (1836-1907)
Aurelia Hawkins Hurst
was born September 15, 1836, in London, England, to Samuel Harris
Hawkins and Charlotte Savage -- the third of nine children. Aurelia's mother was a lady-in-waiting to
the Queen. Aurelia's maternal grandfather's
name was George Savage, and his wife's name was Ann Jupe. Her father's mother was Ann Creighton; a
painting of her hangs in the Royal Art Gallery of London. Aurelia's father was a steel engraver.
The Hawkins family
lived in a house they had leased for 99 years. The Hawkins children were not permitted to
play with other children, but instead were kept closely in their own
yard. Her father, Samuel Hawkins, was
a very religious man; he knew there was a gathering place [for the Lordís
people], but he thought it was Jerusalem. He was getting ready to move there when the
Mormon Elders came along. They taught
him the gospel and he joined the church.
The family was baptized in 1848, and moved to America in 1849, crossing on
the ship Zeland. They sailed
from Liverpool, England and reached New
Salem, Massachusetts on December 24, 1849.
They went up the Mississippi River from New Orleans, arriving at St. Louis and lived there the
first winter in America. In the spring they purchased two teams of
oxen and started for Utah. When they reached Council Bluffs they had to move on
forty miles north because there was no room.
At this point there was an old log house without doors or windows;
they fixed that up to be quite comfortable.
After it was all finished her father died. Her mother had to prepare the body for
burial. A man came from a great
distance to dig the grave, digging through three feet of frozen ground to do
Aurelia was about
twelve years old when they entered the Salt Lake Valley after walking
barefoot across the plains. A piano
was also brought from England, but they were unable
to get transportation for it across the plains. After many trials and hardships they
reached Utah and stayed at the
home of George G. Watt. They later
bought a home in the First Ward, paying for it with their oxen and
wagons. The family did whatever they
could to make a living. They never received payment with money, but
rather in kind, especially food and clothing.
Aurelia's brothers would go to dances with squash or a small sack of
flour under one arm and a girl on the other.
When Johnston's Army came they
moved to Payson and returned when it was safe. One brother worked as secretary in
President Young's office. The first
year they didn't have very much bread, mostly greens. They gleaned grain and made it into
flour. They brought two cows across
the plains with them, which afforded them a fair living. A piano was also brought from England, but they were unable to get
transportation for it across the plains.
Jedediah M. Grant, the
father of President Heber J. Grant visited at their home and they were
constant visitors at the home of President Brigham Young. Aurelia and
her brothers and sisters loved to place chairs about the upstairs drawing
room and imagine playing church, and playing Brigham Young and sometimes
Joseph Smith. One of these chairs
later became the property of the old Salt Lake Theater. Aurelia's elder sister, Lavinia, played on
the stage of the Salt Lake Theater; she took the part of Portia in "The
Merchant of Venice" and many other parts. Lavinia married Joseph Woodmansie, and they
were later caretakers of the Joseph Smith home in Nauvoo, [Illinois].
died April 17, 1887, at the age of 83.
Aurelia married Frederick William Hurst, Sr., November 3, 1858, at Salt Lake City, Utah. They had ten children. Grandmother
Aurelia was a very reserved and stately lady -- she didn't believe in
frivolous things, and was deeply religious.
Frederick, served two missions
in the Pacific Isles. Their home in Logan was filled with
mementos from there. Through all the
trials and hardships of rearing a family while her husband was on missions,
she taught her children the value of honesty and clean living. She had very little pleasure in life other
than her home and family. Aurelia's
family had been wealthy in worldly goods in England, but had very little
after coming to this country. Instead,
they gained wealth in spiritual blessings.
Aurelia died March 24, 1907 after living in Logan, Cache County, Utah 49 years.